I really appreciate your taking the time to type out all this information; so thanks very much. While I do have a few years of experience crewing
on other people's boats (including another IOR 40' 1-tonner), I have only owned my boat for about 20 months, and on other people's boats, you tend to change sails
/ reef when the owner/skipper/tachtician tells you, but on your own boat you tend to have to make those decisions for yourself.
From the racing point of view I do prefer the fractional IOR rig to the masthead (I don't like those monster #1 headsails and relatively small main), although since short-handed cruising is the boat's main use, running backstays
are a pain in the butt.
For what it is worth, on my boat, P is about 50' and E about 18', so a reasonable sized main for an IOR boat.
Fully crewed, racing round the cans, we will carry the #1 to just about 18 knots, then the #2 to around 25, and when it gets over about 35 they generally cancel the race
, so we don't often see the #4. Offshore
(I don't race much offshore), we are more conservative. Cruising I tend to go with #2 even in light breeze and reef at 20 because usually we are only 2 or perhaps 3 on board and whats the hurry?
For what it is worth I just did the calcs for mainsheet load (using the E & P above). In theory, the load gets very ugly very fast, i.e. Load (kg) = 9.9 x V^2 where V = wind speed in knots.... plug
in something like 25knots and it looks like an awfully big load until you consider what you would actually be doing with your main in 25 knots and how much of that main would actually be presented to the wind...
As you can tell, if I can't actually be out sailing, I like to at least think about sailing! 8)